Bullies have existed for years. And I am sure at some point many of us have been bullied or made the unfortunately choice to be the bully.
The difference these days is that now bullies have a computer or a smartphone to hide behind. They say things to people that they would never dream of saying to someone’s face. Sometimes it blows my mind to see the nasty, hateful things that have been said by people who think they can hide behind a screen. I’m sure you have seen some of the headlines and stories of kids who choose to end their life because they were bullied on social media. Miserable people treating others miserably. It honestly breaks my heart. Before the internet and social media, to bully someone you had to say something to their face. That was wrong too…but it wasn’t as easy to bully someone back then because you actually had to have the guts to speak terribly to someone’s face.
Nobody, child or adult should be bullied to the point that they feel that the only answer is ending their life. Each and every person is valuable in God’s eyes and no one should ever be told that they don’t have value or worth.
When will it stop? When we stand up and finally say we have had enough. When people realize that they do not need to bully someone because they have a different opinion. When schools have stricter rules and consequences for students who bully other students.
We are all different. We are short, tall, thin, heavy (or “Pooh-sized”), old, young, athletic, creative, shy and outgoing. We have different beliefs and different lifestyles. We may look differently, talk differently and live differently. But you know what? We can all learn to treat each other with respect and dignity despite our differences. We don’t always have to agree with people or like their choices, but we do need to treat others with respect and love.
I’ll leave you with some incredibly sound advise from our friend, Thumper –
If you have been bullied or are being bullied, talk to someone. You don’t have to go through it alone. More people care about you than you may even realize. Talk to a friend, your parents, a pastor…you can even reach out to me if you need to. Just talk to someone.
If you are someone who feels the need to bully others, you need to talk to someone too. Start making better choices and treat others around you with more love and respect. If you need to talk, reach out to the same people I mentioned above.
It’s time for an open conversation! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!